Topeka Tracy Taylor, who is in charge of Kansas Technology Enterprise Corp., recently accused a consulting firm that was evaluating KTEC’s operations of improper business solicitation, according to the consultant.
The allegation was referred to in a letter from Tom Miller, president and chief executive officer of Thomas P. Miller and Associates, which was hired by Kansas Inc. to conduct an assessment of KTEC.
On Monday, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius vetoed funding for KTEC.
In the letter from Miller to Stan Ahlerich, president of Kansas Inc., Miller denied that his consulting company did anything wrong.
“I want to unequivocally and clearly state that TPMA has not sought nor received any indication regarding any work of any kind from any organization or individual. I personally reached out and discussed this allegation with each member of the TPMA team and was given the same assurance from each individual that no offers or conversations occurred that would substantiate Tracy’s allegation of improper business solicitation,” Miller wrote.
Taylor did not return phone calls seeking comment on the issue. KTEC was established in 1986 to help grow technology-based businesses.
Ahlerich said he was more than satisfied with the work product of Miller’s Indiana-based company, and said he believed there was nothing of substance to back comments against the consultant.
Ahlerich said he asked Miller to address the allegation to clear the air. Miller responded with the letter. In that letter, Miller requested that the letter “be made part of the official project files.”
Miller and Associates said it conducted more than 80 interviews in evaluating KTEC. The company’s study cost about $80,000, Ahlerich said.
The evaluation, contained in a 121-page report released last week, said that KTEC should continue operating, but that changes were needed. Themes that cropped up during the evaluation were that KTEC needed to be more focused and open, and improve developing research into commercial enterprises, the report said.
In a statement after the release of the report, Taylor said the evaluation “both validates our mission, and at the same time, makes a series of actionable recommendations.”
But Taylor said the report also included “substantial factual errors.” He did not elaborate but said he would be providing clarification to lawmakers about those.
On Monday, Sebelius vetoed funding to KTEC for the fiscal year that starts July 1. The agency was to receive about $12.1 million.
Sebelius said KTEC “under its current organization and operation, has struggled to produce a solid return on our investment in recent years.”
Taylor has said he will fight the veto.